The Weary World Rejoices

For the past 6 weeks, at least one person in our house has been sick.  Last weekend, our house got a new round of crud that brought more coughing, aches, fevers and I-want-to-stay-in-bed-and-do-nothing tiredness.  Tonight, Christmas Eve, Sammy is the most recent "winner" of the fever prize.

I'm tired.

This sickness stuff is for the birds.  I find myself feeling so sad that our family's Christmas memory making has been few and far between.

Christmas crafts...nope.
Downtown Christmas lights...nope.
Advent reading every night...nope.
Christmas Eve Service...nope.
Hosting Christmas dinner with both sets of grandparents...nope.

We managed to make my in-laws sick, not knowing that it was more than a cold...and my parents don't want to get sick, so they're staying away too.  I don't blame them.

I'm tired.

Yesterday morning, when my husband woke me up letting me know that he had won the fever lottery, I decided to stop ignoring the day set before me and get up.  I coughed myself downstairs and opened my Bible.  Before I began to read, I was still.  Now, I'm not sure if I was being still before God, or if I was so tired that I wasn't able to function.  Either way, these words popped into my head.

The weary world rejoices.

I'm weary.

Before I go on, I just want you to know that I know that fevers are not the end of the world.  There are so many other things that are a million times worse than cold sweats and runny noses.  I get that.  

I wish I could say that ever since those words popped into my head, I have had a happy disposition and a new attitude.  Not the case, but God keeps using my sin-filled moments to remind me that even though I'm weary, I still have a reason to rejoice.  Actually, those sin-filled moments are the very reason that I should rejoice.

Christmas isn't about what I so many times try to make Christmas about.

There will be no homemade cinnamon rolls Christmas morning...

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save  his people from their sin."  Matthew 1:21
...but I still have a reason to rejoice.

No steaks on the grill for Christmas dinner.  We will be dining on a pre-made pizza from Sam's Club...
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel - which means, God with us."  Matthew 1:23
...but I still have a reason to rejoice.

I ran out of wrapping paper and two of Wes' presents aren't wrapped...
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
...but I still have a reason to rejoice.

Sammy may still be sick, I may still have a hacking cough and Max may wake up sick (please, no)...
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:17
...but I still have a reason to rejoice.

My weariness and our lack of Christmas-y-ness seem pretty trivial compared to the magnitude of the truth in those verses, but I love how God can use even the smallest things to shift our perspective back to Him.

"Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4


Adoption Interview Project 2013

Hi, everyone!  It's me...Abby!

My blogging has been few and far between these days, so I decided to participate in the Adoption Blogger Interview Project, like I did last year, in hopes that it would get me back into the swing of blogging again.

That was a long sentence...

I was excited to see who I would be randomly matched with and guess what?!?!

I got matched with my sweet friend, Suzanne whom I've never met in person, but we both work on an adoption blog for The Sparrow Fund.  {If you have a heart for adoption, The Sparrow Fund blog is a great place to go for encouragement!}


It was fun getting to know Suzanne a little more through this interview.


You have very openly talked about infertility on your blog.  I would love to here about the moment(s) in your life that God began putting adoption as a way to build your family on your heart.  

After struggling with infertility for many years, God began to reveal to me that He had a different plan for our family. Adam wanted to explore all options for a biological child but suggested I start doing a little adoption research. I am researcher so I went adoption research crazy! I bought books, read blogs, looked at adoption agency websites, etc., but Adam still wasn’t ready. Then, I had a disastrous IUI treatment that was coupled with a horrible autoimmune episode that landed me in the hospital in need of four pints of blood. So for the next year, all thoughts of children were put on hold in order to focus on and uncover my health issues. Almost exactly a year after my hospitalization, we were at dinner on our 9th wedding anniversary, when Adam looked at me and said, "let's adopt a baby!"

Why did you choose to adopt from China? 

Truthfully, my heart has always been in China, even as a young child, but we looked at all options, domestic, foster and all countries open to international countries. I am researcher after all.  Even after all the research, we both knew our heart was in China. China is God’s calling for us.

Waiting is hard.  Is there a piece of scripture that God used to encourage you and help you during your waiting periods for both of your children?

Yes! The waiting is so hard, but God is so faithful!! Here is my favorite go to verse on those days when the wait seems unbearable and the very thought of another moment without your child sends you into tears.

“When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; . . . “ (Is. 43:2-3a)

Do you know anything about either of your children's birth families?

Sadly, with Chinese adoption, we never know any information because in order for a child to be eligible for adoption in China, they have to be abandoned so there is no information provided. Chinese officials put out what they call a finding ad when the baby or child is first found, but these are not successful and thus the child is sent to an orphanage. The one rather unique thing about my son is that his parents left his birth date and name with him which is not typical.

Your son, Anthony (9 years old), joined your family after your daughter, Grace (4 years old).  Were you planning on adopting an older child the second time around?  What would you say to anyone who says that adopting out of birth order is a no-no?

We were not planning to adopt out of birth order. In fact, it was probably the furthest thing from our minds until God stepped in.  I believe that God’s plan is so much greater than ours, and it is His plan I want to follow, not the world's. Therefore, to the nay sayers, I would say, it depends on God and His plan for your family. You must listen to Him and seek Him above all else. Of course, we also talked at length with our social worker, adoption case worker, family and friends specifically about it and all were in agreement with us that in this case, it would work, especially since God is on our side. Would it always be easy and perfect? Of course not. Does God only ask us to take the easy path? He asks us to step out in faith and follow Him, no matter the cost.

How have you seen your children grow as they have adjusted to being part of your family?

With each passing month, we see all our attachments to each other grow, but we have also seen their personality blossom in an environment of love. The more they trust us, the more they open up and relax. It has been so wonderful to see them connect as brother and sister as well. Anthony stepped right into the role of older brother as if he had been one his whole life, and Grace is the perfect little sister. The most rewarding thing, though, is to see their love for Christ grow as their understanding of Him and His sacrifice for them is unveiled before them. It is truly a beautiful thing.

Thank you, Suzanne, for sharing your heart!  I hope we get to meet someday!

Check out the other interview projects here

Adoption Blogger Interview Project 2013


10 on 10 {October}

7 o'clock
Bible reading.
I'm loving this study of Matthew.

8 o'clock
Baby holding.
I later found out this wasn't just a "I'm still tired face" but a "I have a fever face".

9 o'clock
Restaurant playing.

10 o'clock
Chore doing.

11 o'clock
Pumpkin buying.

12 o'clock
Lunch eating.
I love days when we get to meet Wes for lunch.  I also love McAlister's tea.

1 o'clock
Book reading.

2 o'clock
Phone call making and family picture deciding.

3 o'clock
Crescent roll making.

 4 o'clock
After nap greeting.

ten on ten button


Sam {1 year}

At 1 year you...
say dada, mama, dat {we don't know what this means...possibly just a sound to make yourself known} and ball, clap like a pro, pull yourself up to standing position, have four teeth, love pushing around cars,  climb up the stairs, follow your mama all around the house, jabber up a storm with lots of expression, still have a bald spot on the back of your head, sign the word more {anything to get more food} and let anyone hold you.

We think that you...
are going to force us to increase our grocery budget {you love to eat}, will never be a vegetarian, will be everyone's friend and will give Max a run for his money when you're old enough to hold your own.

We call you....
Sam, Sammy, Samuel, Baby, Sam the Man, Koala Bear, Sam-sam and Sammy-boy

We hope you...
learn to walk soon because you're really heavy, always stay happy, don't have anymore trips to the ER, stop dropping your cup, survive Max's wrestling matches and continue to snuggle.


We love you so much, Sammy!  Happy Birthday!


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